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12th Dec 2016

Liverpool fans will fully agree with Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of the Neville brothers

"Obviously, the Neville brothers don’t like Liverpool".

Robert Redmond

Jurgen Klopp has responded to the heavy criticism of Loris Karius by Gary and Phil Neville in recent days.

The Liverpool goalkeeper has been under-fire following two questionable performances, but retains the backing of his manager.

Against Bournemouth last Sunday, he fumbled the ball to let in Nathan Aké the home side’s winning goal.

Gary Neville had no sympathy for Karius after the Bournemouth game – just as he was often very critical of Manchester United’s David de Gea before he became one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“It’s tough to win the league without a good goalkeeper, it is tough,” Neville said.

“He’s not good enough that goalkeeper. You could see actually in his first game, was it against [Manchester] United on a Monday night? He looks nervous and he isn’t good enough.”

Karius responded by taking a dig at Neville’s brief, unsuccessful spell as Valencia manager last season.

“I don’t care what Gary Neville said. He was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again. But he is always very critical. I think he does it to everyone. I just hope that when I do well he will comment on that. We will see in the future.”

Neville didn’t like that, and either did his younger brother Phil.

Following Karius’ performance against West Ham United yesterday, in which the Liverpool ‘keeper was arguably at fault for both of the away team’s goals in the 2-2 draw, Phil said Karius needs to “shut up” and do his job.

This echoed Jamie Carragher’s blunt advice to the 23-year-old, who has played 11-games in English football.

“My criticism of him is not the mistakes he is making, it’s the article he did in midweek,” Phil said on Match of the Day 2.

“When you’re a young player and your making mistakes or breaking into the team, you do your training, you work as hard as you possibly can, you play on a Saturday and you say nothing.

“Until you’ve got a couple of seasons under your belt then you can start coming out shouting your mouth off or having a go at pundits.”

So, Phil doesn’t have an issue with a player making mistakes, it’s the speaking their mind bit that annoys him. How dare Karius take part in an interview, and answers questions.

Ian Ladyman, the Daily Mail journalist who conducted the interview with Karius, attempted to provide some context to the ‘keeper’s quote about Gary Neville on Monday morning, but the Sky Sports pundit wouldn’t let the issue go.

Inevitably, Jurgen Klopp was asked about the comments by the Neville brothers.

“It is part of our life,” the Liverpool manager said ahead of Liverpool’s game against Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

“First of all my job is to protect the players as much as I can but I am not in the pitch so I cannot go with them. Criticism from outside is normal, for me, the players, the goalkeeper. I am not surprised about it. In my very first press conference I spoke a little bit about the English media. Obviously most of you enjoy this harsh part.”

Klopp said that ex-players forget how it feels to be criticised in the media, before taking aim at Gary Neville’s managerial career – a subject that appeared to hit a nerve when Karius mentioned it in his interview.

“The pundits, former players most of them, forgot completely how it felt when they got criticised. Especially the Neville brothers; the one who was the manager he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps. But he is not interested in helping a Liverpool player I can imagine, but that makes the things he says not make more sense.

“He showed he struggled with the job to judge players so why do we let him talk about players on television?

“I don’t listen to them. I am pretty sure Carra doesn’t speak too positively about Man United players. Obviously the Neville brothers don’t like Liverpool, I have no problem and if they can cause bigger problems then we have already they have tried. By the way, you can tell him [Gary] I am not on Twitter so if he wants to tell me something Twitter doesn’t help.”

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live